Caracal – A New Polymer Pistol from the UAE

We first saw the Caracal at Media Day at the Range, SHOT Show 2012. Little did we know that Caracal would be the most common name we’d see at the show. They spent a ton of money, but the gun just doesn’t come in at the price point they are looking for.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ErUES8vJlo
This is the company video, and we really respect them for taking the American consumer firearm market seriously and putting together such a huge and expensive effort for SHOT Show. It is worth watching this video.

Ben shot this gun at Media Day and it did shoot well. Most likely if they sent us a gun it would get a fantastic review. If they find a way to bring the gun in for less money it will be a force in the US market, but not at $500.

The Caracal is a big cat, with slightly silly ears. Who knew?

This is a capture from the video of the proposed retail packaging. We didn’t see the orange grip inserts at the show, nor did we see anything resembling this mature of a product.

We will be happy to let the Caracal guys fly us over the Abu Dhabi (you know like in Sex in the City II) to check out the factory, but it isn’t going to make this a $500 gun.

Note that it is illegal to put a foregrip on a pistol if it is not a registered SBR, whether the shoulder stock is on or not.

All beginnings are difficult, but the folks in Abu Dhabi seem to have figured out how to do a heck of a lot of other stuff right, so something tells us they will figure out a way to crack this nut as well. For now, I’m sure NSSF is grateful that they came to the SHOT Show for 2012, and we all hope to see them back next year. The website appears to have a rifle product coming as well. Bring it on!

Caracal USA
http://www.caracal-usa.com/

The award for the biggest spender at SHOT Show this year goes to a new gun company from the United Arab Emirates, based in Abu Dhabi, called Caracal. I didn’t know this at the show, but the Caracal is actually a type of big cat, common in Africa and the Middle East. It was once thought to be a Lynx, but it isn’t one, and for some reason this company decided to use it as its name. Makes a lot more sense than pulling it out of a hat, but could perhaps be ill advised regardless. We’ll see.

At SHOT Show you couldn’t miss Caracal. They wrapped the show buses in Caracal artwork, and at the top of the stairs leading to the dungeon where the GunsAmerica booth was housed (along with half the industry), was what had to be a 75 x 30 foot banner. The Caracal booth was also in the dungeon, but it was very large and clearly a custom made piece of work costing upwards of 100k. If there is any actual return on a big SHOT Show investment, we’ll see this year if Caracal takes off. Don’t hold your breath.

The gun itself we got to shoot at Media Day at the Range, on Monday before the show, and it shoots pretty well, but is nothing special. We asked and the price point is in the $500 range, which we thought a little steep for an immature product to the American market. You can get real guns for that. As of the end of the show they were still trying to make a deal for distribution, so who knows if we will even see it in the US this year at all. But at that price it will most likely be a non-starter, regardless.

From what we could determine, there are three things that make this gun fairly unique. First is that it has a hard rubber grip insert, so the grip isn’t all hard plastic. I can’t say we noticed this on the test guns at range day, but if you watch the video we have included here, it appears that the market gun will have what appears to be an orange grip insert, which would make the gun more holdable than a plastic-only grip, theoretically speaking.

There are also only 28 parts in the gun, which the Caracal people claim is the least parts in a polymer pistol. We have not tried to verify this, and will if it turns out this gun actually matters. We should mention that this is not a new design of firearm. This company has been making guns, they claimed, for 7 years, and this particular model was designed for all of the military firearm trials worldwide, including choosing a new service pistol for US forces.

The big thing, as you can see from the pictures and video, is that it is made for a shoulder stock. As officially “not a fan” of shoulder stocks for pistols, we can’t say that this makes the gun any more or less marketable. Without a carbine-length 16″ barrel for the US market this would be relegated to Short Barrel Rifle status with the shoulder stock, and available only to police and those willing to pay an extra $200 tax for it. I don’t feel that compared to the Hi-Point, CX4, Sub-2000 and other existing pistol caliber carbines in the US market that there would be any interest at all at this price point, even with the carbine kit.

The Caracal itself would probably get a good review, at $300. That is where it could compete effectively, and there it would give many guns in that price point a run for their money. It did seem to work well, and if you watch the video, these people don’t spare any expense in manufacturing it appears. With a good product, a heavy ad budget, and high hopes, you can do a lot in the US gun market, but you have to hit the price point if you want to sell guns.

Please note that we will not be letting any negative comments about the UAE being an Arab nation through on this article. The UAE is a Western nation that has been one of the most friendly to the US and its allies, and that is a center of Western commerce in the middle east. They are known to be active participants in shooting sports worldwide, and they are part of a very small family of the nations that the US has always been able to count on. We wish this product was stronger at its price point and that we had high hopes for it, but we just don’t see it. There are a number of mature products in the US market already at that price, and they are great guns, and much better looking than the Caracal. We felt that they should at least be mentioned in our coverage because of all the money they paid to NSSF for SHOT. Hopefully they will find a way to bring in the guns cheaper, and get rid of the big eared cat. It is silly.

{ 91 comments… add one }
  • Patsy July 29, 2014, 1:16 am

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I
    clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say
    wonderful blog!

  • John R. Fagan October 4, 2012, 8:17 am

    I enjoyed reading the various comments people wrote regarding the Caracal.It stikes me that people were accurate about the original authors article. The devisiveness is there but I think it could have been handled in a more subtle and positive manner. Personally, I like the idea of quotes. Let the principals and their principles be noted clearly and objectively. That is why smart companies hire representatives that are knowledgeable,poised and eloquent.It is called selling the product not the opinion.

    • Administrator October 4, 2012, 9:37 am

      Because the Caracal has done so well in the market this year lol.

  • Jim K July 13, 2012, 11:32 am

    Nice article.

  • john May 20, 2012, 4:07 pm

    i bought Caracal F i paid 399 fo it, i call it Glock gen 6.

  • Spoon March 22, 2012, 5:06 am

    I’m very late getting into any discussion about this piece, but after a careful review of UAE’s website…their offerings have similiar and dissimilar features, looks, details. To each his own.

    I’ve witnessed too many finicky ‘plastic’ pistol (sans Glocks) that will eat just about any type of ammo or bullet style, especially in self-produced ammo. You can keep all the striker-fired Taurus, XDs, et al…I’ll stick with Sig. In these times of uncertainty…reliability of function outweighs all else. I’m not maligning the Caracal…but you can’t argue with Sigs’ rep when and where it counts!

  • Ron March 14, 2012, 8:38 pm

    This is great weapon. Shot a couple hundred fmj rounds and it was very accurate and fast. Very little jump and quick recovery. Anyone that thinks this is not a great gun needs to spend sometime with it. Paid 399 for the full size.

  • Micah March 13, 2012, 12:15 pm

    I really enjoy the GA articles but this was borderline useless. Ahh, even the best are likely to slouch every now and then!

    keep up the good work GA

    • Administrator March 13, 2012, 2:17 pm

      The uselessness was actually the point.

  • An Actual Owner March 5, 2012, 6:40 am

    1st my disclaimer: I have been a supporter of responsible firearm ownership my entire life, and recently got very active in both ownership and in practice. I am in no way, shape, or form of the imagination am, or claim to be an expert. I READ a lot, train & practice a lot, and I have completed approx. 3000-4000 rounds of range time in the last 6 months. My MAIN concern is SAFETY and the safety and protection of my family. The ONLY politics I can control is within my world of family, community, work, etc. I dont lose 1 minute of sleep over “politics” in the middle-east, or those of a company…unless I KNEW they were financing things I did not agree with. I ACTUALLY OWN a Caracal C-9 ($395+2 Mags+Loader)…NOT $500!!! from:
    http://www.longmountain.com/
    and a Steyer M9, and a Glock19, all 9mm. All…per the net…designed by the SAME person or team. I can not validate this, and could care less. I own ALL THREE and have shot them all enough to say, as an engineer myself, If they were not designed by the same guy or team, I would be amazed. The CARACAL is an EXCELLENT firearm, in my limited and laymen opinion, I do not know enough about trigger pull, sights, recoil, etc….although learning…I am lucky to have some good , experienced mentors, I do know when I shoot it… it is VERY accurate, has a nice all-around feel to it, and shoots incredible!!! 700 rounds -4 types ammo-ZERO Fails!…Until you OWN it, study the manual, practice safety with it, field strip it, shoot it, and clean it…several dozen times…How can anyone know anything about any firearm? (no offense to the experts) If Caracal’s (the company) intent is to bring a good, reliable, safe, and inexpensive firearm to the U.S. ..I say “Bring It”. (I have also owned several $1000 NEW U.S. made firearms, I could’nt get 4 Rounds thru without a malfunction! that I got rid of!!!) I beleive all of us who are responsible, SAFE!!!, clear-headed, suppoorters all want the same thing…but then again…what do I know.

  • Jack D February 20, 2012, 1:33 pm

    Interesting. I would liked to see more technical details about the gun. Since its closet cousin is the Glock, a comparison between the two would have been great.

    All products have the same hurdles to overcome. It will be interesting to see how they market the product in the US.

  • Andre February 12, 2012, 11:48 pm

    Why would I buy an unknown gun if I can buy for less money reputable American or European gun? For how long spare parts will be manufactured? I would not buy it.

  • JJDsr February 10, 2012, 12:22 am

    I stopped by the CARACAL exhibit at SHOT 2012, viewed and discussed its products and picked up the company’s 16 page catalog.
    The illustrated catalog has an informative message from the CEO, info about the basic details about the full size and compact pistols, the tactical model, technical features, and training/support info. It would have been nice to include some of basic info in the review. I’m sure CARACAL USA would send catalogs to interested individuals if requested by email: info@caracal-usa.com.
    GunsAmerica has worked hard over the years to bring us print and video news about significant new products at SHOT shows, that many of us would never know about, even if we attended the show. SHOT is too big to see everything in 4 full days! G.A. reports each story as they see it and gives us all an opportunity to agree, disagree and add relevant information. The bottom line is that details emerge that are extremely helpful to enable us to make more informed and better decisions about products of interest.

    There are a lot of excellent firearms that never make it to the U.S. from other parts of the world for one reason or another. I’m happy that this UAE headquartered company, with offices in Germany and the U.S. showed up with an attractive exhibit. They deserve a lot of credit for generously supporting SHOT 2012 in tight economic times.
    The one thing I have learned during my 50+ years in discussing guns with manufacturing executives, industry workers and collectors, is that we all strive to avoid political differences to enjoy and promote our common interests. Full industry support (worldwide) is critical to the preservation of that which brings us together on these sites.

  • Chuck Roast February 9, 2012, 4:35 pm

    Nice pistol, but listening closely to the audio there seems to be a political statement within the mix which I don’t much care for. I don’ think I’d purchase one if the price was fifty bucks with a Level III holster and thirty magazines thrown in.

  • dj kennedy February 9, 2012, 1:04 am

    good info on the background of a not new design [10 years out] -but a new marketing team–
    maybe the hype overshadowded the product –comments about the design and designer[s]
    give a balance to the article –and this is good ———–
    ===========
    a mention of acura etc brings up curiosity and what if honda and yamaha made pistols –
    then there would be the chinese knockoffs and then korean attempts
    the new nimble nambu
    =========

  • Poohker February 8, 2012, 10:32 pm

    Purchased a Caracal F model in December 2011 @ 425.00. The pistol shoots very well with all ammo I tried, FMJ, hollowpoint and subsonic. The pistol points well and has a great trigger pull, I have fired over 700 rds without any problems. Extra mags cost 25.00. Is it the next super wonder pistol…No, is it a good all around pistol…YES!

  • Twinkie February 8, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Guns America:

    Thanks for letting us in on some of the marketing blitz that goes on at Shot Show. That interests me more than your opinions on the Caracal, to be honest. So many of the opinion leaders in our firearms demimonde are bought and paid for. In fact, it seems the goal of nearly all those who write about guns to get on the company tit and stay there.

  • Wizard_of_odd February 8, 2012, 4:49 am

    * bit of an addendum I typo’ed “striker cover” as “Sticker cover” , my mistake.

  • Wizard_of_odd February 8, 2012, 4:47 am

    I for one feel that the reviewer was FAR too quick to write this pistol off as an “also ran”.

    What the reviewer DIDN’T get is that this is NOT a “new” pistol , this is a re-release of the original Caracal pistol that were brought into the U.S. in very limited numbers, it’s original finalized design is form 2005
    ( The first development of this pistol’s prototype phase testing was 2002 .)
    The pistol is a very simple clean lined near snagless solid shooter that balanced well in the hand and was designed by the same EX-employees led by the designer Wilhelm Bubits that redesigned the Glock from generation 2 to Gen. 3 as well as designed the Steyr M9 and M40 series of pistols.

    Like their forebears the Caracal is a lightweight robust and above all SIMPLE & RELIABLE pistol series that has a very LOW bore axis point similar to the M9 series and originating from the all metal CZ-75 while employing a familiar locked breech style action.
    This Low boreline allows the pistol to sit high and tight to the user’s hand without the everpresent danger of “slide bite” , this also allows for very quick shot to shot recovery for followup rounds on target. ( Often referred to as “controlled pairs”. )
    Though like the M9 series of pistols form Steyr I do have slight issues with the sights , on the Caracal series integrally mounted to the action’s sticker cover on the back of the upper receiver windage adjustments are done via sliding the front sight within it’s groove cut notch, on the “compact” model the “rear sight” is carved into the slide forward of the breech on the earlier models and behind the breech in some newer production models.
    ( In a style somewhat reminiscent of the old “guttersnipe” sighting system founded by Paris Theodore back in the 1970’s for the “ASP” pistol made for an “undisclosed federal agency”. )
    On the Caracal they are a “traditional” “notch & post” style of sight while on the Steyr they are an odd “triangular” or “pyramid” style of sighting aperture.

    All 3 of the pistols of this “polymer defensive handgun” family tree are well made reliable and accurate and in today’s market are close to the same M.S.R.P. one had to decide for themselves which pistol particularly suits the end user’s need but you really can not go wrong with any of these three fine offerings as they were engineered form the ground up to function in the worst possible environments and conditions.

    The Caracal series of pistols were tested by an independent 3rd party T&E firm in Germany in 2002 to 2006 , they have also passed NATO testing & evaluations and have a NATO D14 approval.

    With this background , reputation, and it’s renown fitment & finish this little line of pistol is HARDLY an “also-ran” nor is it easy to write off.

  • J February 8, 2012, 3:23 am

    Being a prior Steyr owner (sold because of changing financial priorities), I will say that Wilhelm Bubits has not gotten NEARLY the credit he deserves for his work. That pistol (Steyr) had some of the BEST engineering, and EASILY better manufacturing than most Glocks I run into. Also, all of the features of the Steyr had a purpose, and were well thought out. Could it have used more support for “nonstandard” users? Certainly. But this Carcal pistol is what most of us Steyr owners have looked at with quite a bit of curiosity and anticipation.

    Also, FYI, most Steyr owners are also quite fanatical of their Glock collections as well. Don’t say it won’t sell when you have a good portion of the Glock market that could take a VERY serious eye. Let’s not forget Glock’s new pricetags, which ARE overpriced. I’m sorry, a Gen4 G19 is NOT worth the price you pay in gunshops today. Glocks (exc. competiton models) should top out at $400-450.

    Speak of, and in response to “It’s a glock knockoff, that’s all Bubits does!” commentary… Erm, in reality, Bubits LEFT Glock because his philosophy opposed Glock, and it’s evident in how a glock seems simplistic and mass produced when placed next to a Steyr/Carcal. (Honda vs. Acura).

    The Carcal is the beginning of a VERY good pistol. We complain about a 2″ sight radius, but at the same note, it’s FAST. Concealed carry and service weapons are designed to be deployed with a certain (VERY-short) timeframe in mind – thus faster target acquisition is better, not “novak competiton-adjustable combat sights”. Another way of looking at this – we’ll pay the same amount, if not more, for a Colt that has NO sights, and you can’t adjust them either.

    28 parts is low. Compared to ANYTHING. What parts they used are used well. It’s thin, it’s smooth, ergonomic, and has a LOW bore axis. These are all very good engineering features. For cross-training, the Glock-style takedown levers are a nice touch. This pistol was designed with EVERY good feature a service weapon should have. Unlike the junk I see in stores today with more hard-plastic/tacticool yak poop attached to it, excusing the shoddy machining marks, cheap MIM materials and poor engineering/manufacturing process, buying this pistol is paying for it’s Engineering and production. Like what we used to spend money for (old Sigs, Kimbers, Colts, S&W’s, etc.)

    The only part I don’t see the point in is the “carbine” kit when it only has a pistol-length barrel. But, instead of referring to the carbine kit so negatively, it would be a better motion as a writer to refer to this feature as a “Sign of a potential carbine conversion coming down the road”. You are writing this article to draw attention to the weapon, and your presentation of the weapon is that of mediocrity at best, when it offers quite a bit more.

    I’ve read a good number of articles on G/A, and so far, most are good. Even with the low-budget producers. This article was one of the worst, in all honesty. I understand you had a limited amount of time spent with the weapon, and the company did not give much information about this pistol – but this considered, you should have written a more CONCISE article in relation to the CONCISE presentation you were given. Maybe instead of the “Cracked.com” fashioned article talking about your OPINION of the pistol, more should have been spent on other positive points of your experience with Carcal. Such as pictures of the impressive “Carcal” presentation/marketing you discussed. Possibly title the article “Newcomer to the US: Carcal USA”. Focus on the COMPANY, and the INTERESTING points of the pistol, maybe in referendum to the other works of the designer, instead of your opinion thusfar, and knocking the few features they did offer.

    Last note – Just because they say it will be selling for $500 does NOT mean gunstores will put it out on shelves for $500. It may easily wind up in CDNN for $350. Or in gunstores for said $350. Or, few civilians will actually find it, but it will go into private security with success. As stated, the Italian Police are already using it, and the US Army Pistol Trials aren’t dead yet…

    Written Entirely IMHO

    • Twinkie February 8, 2012, 2:18 pm

      Very nice reply, J!

      As a fellow Steyr aficionado and owner, I agree with what you say about it being a more refined product than a Glock. I do hope Caracal can get good US distribution so we can see them on store shelves.

  • dj kennedy February 8, 2012, 2:39 am

    maybe if the video had some good pics of osama types shooting the windows out of humvees
    it woulda looked better
    or maybe if the cat had been eating the eyes out of a dead baby or half dead goat
    no wonder the people manning the exhibit were not speaking much either
    prolly on their toes looking for imbedded mossad and former kgb mercs looking for jobs
    500 bucks is a lot of money for a cigar
    if these pistols were 25 bucks most gi joes and janes still wouldnt buy them
    they should spend their ad budget where their product will really sell
    pakistan wazirastan ubezkistan checznia bosnia kurdistan iran libya egypt
    should it become lethal enough in present and future theatres
    in the search for freedom and democracy
    perhaps it could gain the aura of the ak
    dunno why yall get so uppset over the kitty cat
    prarie dog shooters hog shooters iffn they come back in texas
    an why aint there no afrikkan guns ?????????
    ok how about a swarthy dude smokin an unfiltered cig
    takin his pitbull for a walk in the everglades
    and he gets jumped by 18 anacondas -head shots each one
    ”glad i brought the cat along ”

    • Bagdad March 8, 2012, 10:12 am

      and there it is.

  • N. P. February 8, 2012, 2:34 am

    Well,
    There are two strike against this pistol from me already:

    1. It is a double action only.
    2. It is a 9mm.

    Bringing down a tango with 6 or 7 rounds or carrying 18 rounds is just plain silly.

    • DaveR February 15, 2012, 11:01 am

      Uhhh, it’s not DAO (unless you call a Glock DAO too).

      And it has a replacable breach face which implies that you will be able to change calibers as they become available.

      Reports are that plans are in the works for a .40 and .357 Sig version.

  • Unlicensed Dremel February 7, 2012, 11:37 pm

    The forward grip alone makes it an AOW, not an SBR – still need to submit your form, but $5 instead of $200.

  • THX1138 February 7, 2012, 10:13 pm

    I bought the compact last week online and had it delivered to an FFL. I was hesitant not being able to even hold one first, but I must say I like Glocks (functional, reliable, easy to maintain), but I like this Caracal better than a $500 Glock 19. I feel it moves past the Glock and competes more with a Walther PPQ, but with the ease of detail stripping of a Glock. I feel the quality, materials, and design make this easily a $400-$500 gun though. The only reason to price it lower than a Glock would be to gain market share, not because it was inferior. I was pleasantly surprised. The real question now is the company’s future, parts, etc. I have no doubts once people actually get to see and hold one, Caracal has an excellent product. Zero failures on my first 200 rounds of any kind. Fit and finish are really really nice. The included loader was even nice and worked so simple. Front serrations would be welcome however. The slide is very smooth, so those extra slices would be nice.

  • kcatto February 7, 2012, 7:45 pm

    I enjoyed the article I found it very informative. It is nice to see new products enter the market and exit the market. I am not a writer or blogger or any media type just an average Joe. I do not like the look of the gun, but to be fair I did not like the looks of the hi-point’s either but with time they proved to be dependable no BS guns, ugly or not.
    Time will tell with this gun as well. I can honestly say in the $500.00 range I would just save a few hundred more dollars and buy a more proven and better looking firearm. I might give one a whirl for $150. to $200. range, I am not passing judgement but they are to ugly and unproven to compete with the big boys and hi-point’s dependability at under $200.00 is hard to compete with. I think the author is right on target with his article, I think they could do well if they find the correct price range to market this ugly firearm.

  • Austin February 7, 2012, 7:20 pm

    First of all, I know several folks who have these guns and love them (IN the US) Like “Scott The Shot” also mentioned, this gun was designed by Wilhelm Bubbits, who also happened to be the guy behind the Steyr M9 / M9A1 and the other iterations (which are GREAT guns) and ALSO helped design the “sacred” Glock. This gun has been in shops for a couple of years now and it’s a great shooter. Low bore axis, great handling, and it’s as accurate as the shooter can make it. I’ve been watching these SHOT show review emails having been a fan of Guns America for a few years now, but seriously – put more actual DATA into your reviews. You sound like the guy at my LGS that “knows it all” but just ends up sending people out the door because he’s an arrogant ass. Just sayin…
    Geez, to drive me to comment on something this trivial, you must have really pushed the envelope. Get some statistics and ACTUAL prices in your reviews (which from the one’s I’ve read in the last few if you’ve read the comments, are sorely lacking) and then formulate an opinion. Also, putting down someone for critiquing your work in a constructive way as many of the previous posters have done, is just really without class. If only they had called it the “John Moses Browning Caracal Model 2012″…

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:03 pm

      All we can go by is what they told people at the show, and what they told people was a dog. Anyone in their right mind would prefer to buy an XD, M&P, or Glock, not to mention both stellar Walther striker pistols. FN has a new striker pistol too. You missed the most important detail we didn’t provide for the Caracal actually, a lot more important that what it weighs or other irrelevant information that will be within norms for similar pistols, WHO IS GOING TO CARRY THE SPARE PARTS? That question alone makes any of the above options a far better choice, even for hundreds of more dollars. And for what it is worth, the MSRP online for the gun is over $700, which means you will probably pick up some discounted prices in the just under $500 range, which is a ridiculous price for a plastic striker pistol from an unknown manufacturer with no support network or customer support in the US.

  • Paul B February 7, 2012, 2:27 pm

    If you can get the shoulder and forearm kit, all you need is a 16in bbl kit to make it legal ! Seems reasonable to sell the 3 pieces together, similar to what beretta did on the neos 22 kits. There have been aftermarket “carbine” kits to convert 45 acp 1911s and glocks (?) to a carbine, but none offered by a factory that produced the gun, as I recall. With the interest on carbine shooting (including suppressors) in pistol calibers, a factory kit that included a threaded 16in bbl, and the stock kits could be a real boost to sales, and a heck of a lot of fun ! Just my humble opinion!

  • b. young February 7, 2012, 1:30 pm

    If it’s designed by the same guy that designed the Glock and the Caracal has 28 instead of the Glocks 35ish parts it ?SHOULD? be a more refined Glock which would be?
    The only interesting things I’ve seen, gun design wise in the last 20 years was the KRISS .45 smg and the Rhino revolver…

  • don bailey February 7, 2012, 12:01 pm

    over glorified glock to me. seems everybody these days are cashing in on glocks. just my opion, nothing more.

    • Ryan Burch February 7, 2012, 2:12 pm

      Does that mean the Glock is an over glorified Steyr?

      “Wilhelm Bubbits, the designer of the Glock and Steyr pistols, designed the Caracal.”

      It makes sense that the design of the Caracal would be influenced by his previous work. Just as Henry Ford, the Wright Brothers, and every designer/inventor ever take what they learned from their last project, and use it to improve their next.

      I do know the guns are being used by Italian Police already.

  • Marwan February 7, 2012, 11:58 am

    Is being an Arab nation automatically brings on negative comments? (Please note that we will not be letting any negative comments about the UAE being an Arab nation through on this article ) What you said is a positive thing with a negative undertones. Something about the comments did not seem right. UAE is an Arab nation not a Western nation, maybe it has Western life style and architecture but is an Arab nation to the core, and I wish all Arab nations would follow suit and be like UAE, and I agree the gun is over priced.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 12:23 pm

      Yes it is difficult to even post anything about AKs without a whole discussion that they are the weapons of the enemy. If we hadn’t put that there would have been 30-50 comments by 8am about supporting the enemy and all of the oil money. Back and forths with idiots has gotten old and tired so we try to nip the predictable ones in the bud.

      • Marwan February 7, 2012, 12:31 pm

        Thanks

  • greg February 7, 2012, 11:36 am

    Name a gun after a Cat, how stupid is that, it would be like naming your firearms company after a horse, or worse yet a baby horse, (1836-present) or even worse let’s pick the most common sir name on the planet.(1852-present)
    And these books, burn them I hate their covers………(1933)

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 11:38 am

      touche!

    • Roman M February 7, 2012, 9:14 pm

      most common surname on the planet? never heard of the chang…

  • Richard February 7, 2012, 11:24 am

    It is worth noting that Caracal owns Merkel, the very mature and successful German shotgun and rifle manufacturer. Having lived in the UAE for six years and worked with government entities extensively, I predict that once they come to terms with the specifics of the US market (and gain an understanding of the legislative and regulatory landscape!), they will adjust accordingly and be in the market with competitively priced, high quality products. They will most certainly focus on quality over volume. They will certainly spare no expense in acquiring first class global talent to develop their products, see above remarks on Wilhelm Bubbits. I suspect the big budget over-do and clear lack of preparation at the SHOT show were the result of greedy/naive hired help advising poorly, but OTT presentations are not uncommon from UAE entities. However, Tawazun, Caracal’s parent company, is effectively a sovereign wealth development fund and, as such, has pockets deeper than we can imagine. If they have decided to be in the US market, they will invest for the long haul.

    The caracal is a slightly amusing creature (and not the national symbol of the UAE as suggested in a post above) but I thought your remarks on the UAE were appropriate. They are in a tricky spot with Iran 30 miles away across the water and yet they have quietly been an honest partner with the US in seeking regional security, not to mention a significant purchaser of US made defense goods. I’m not very interested in plastic pistols, so let’s see what, if anything, they do with Merkel. A double rifle in 45-70 at sub $10,000 would be interesting, for example!

  • Scott the Shot February 7, 2012, 10:26 am

    An actual journalist might’ve spent some time telling us that Wilhelm Bubbits, the designer of the Glock and Steyr pistols, designed the Caracal. Important information, somehow not included. Instead we get a negative and condescending comments about the price point of this weapon, specious drivel about the ears of the animal it is named after, a run down of what the company spent on its booth and return on investment predictions.

    It it be nice if your spot at Shot Show was given to an organization that actually wanted to impart useful information, rather than predict the success or failure of a particular weapon before it is even in distribution.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 10:29 am

      Maybe if they had shared this information with us we might have reported on it, but it is not in their materials, nor did they say more than a dozen or so words at media day, and the guy manning the booth spoke perfect english. He just didn’t want to speak much and had little information. He clearly didn’t like that our first question was “do you have distribution?”

  • John February 7, 2012, 10:24 am

    To use the stock in the U.S. it hast to be registered as an SBR doesn’t it?

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 10:25 am

      yep

  • Dean February 7, 2012, 10:06 am

    Also please be aware that the SCOTUS has ruled, and common sense dictates, that any “law” that violates the US Constitution is NOT law and never was law and does not have the authority of law.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    With regards to SBR and forward grips and every other silly agreement, that would otherwise violate the 2nd amendment, with the corporation known as “UNITED STATES” corporate contractual agreements are not law. It applies to you if you have made an agreement/contract to it. See: Title 28 USC 3002 15 (A) “UNITED STATES: a federal corporation”

    Simply because Unconstitutional agencies, the gov (fed) shall have no police or standing army, have “might makes right” thugs that act lawlessly and apply their contracts to whomever they please does not make what they do legal or what they say “law”. Real Americans know this, fearful Americans do what they are told by thugs.

    “Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem”: I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery
    Thomas Jefferson

  • Roger Roger February 7, 2012, 10:03 am

    Looks like another case of ignorant foreign marketing R and D. Price too high for a Barbie-looking pistol and normal access to pistol fore-grips being illegal.

  • cj February 7, 2012, 9:39 am

    Maybe they should study the HS2000 and it’s trajectory. They were going for $269 before Springfield stepped in with the distribution rights (and name and warranty). The Caracal migth be the best thing going, but without a strong reputation and confidence provided to the consumer, the consumer market’s going to be a tough nut to crack. When someone’s given the choice between a Glock, an M&P, an XD, and a Caracal all in the same price range, I’m betting most will go with known brand names and reputation for service.

    If Caracal could break in at a much lower price, then slowly raise over time (assuming performance and service were up to par), they might have something. I’d love to try one out, but it would need to be a much lower entry point to give it a try.

  • rip February 7, 2012, 9:28 am

    to me it looks unproportionable. if it had 31/2 more inches of barrel length i would like it better! price and availability of magazines will be another issue. if this pistol went full auto then the stock would work for me.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:42 am

      We asked them about that and they said there was no select fire at present.

  • Michael Garter February 7, 2012, 9:20 am

    Nice advertisement…looks like a great set up. To bad that I’m on a buy U.S.A. made kick, so I’ll have to give it a miss.

  • Fred Marcum February 7, 2012, 9:18 am

    Guys,

    Yep, the price is high. If you understood the mindset in the UAE, where the mercedes is as common as the ford, you would understand that they think the entry price is low. I am sure they were advised, but they do things their way. They are smart folks and will come around, they have the money to take their time. I have fired this pistol at the Caracal Shooting Range in the Armed Forces Officers Club in AD and your comment that it performs no better than other weapons of it’s type is like me commenting that the linear ambush took more than 3 minutes from initiation to ‘fire in the hole’. Most folks (the ones who buy these pistols) could not tell the difference, they buy them for many reasons to include home defense and concealed carry. I am sure these reasons are a little higher on the ‘order of merit list’.
    By the way, writing that the Caracal ‘a big cat, with slightly silly ears’, is comparable to writing a negative comment about our American Bald Eagle–try doing that and see where your next check comes from. We read and hear that kind of tripe enough. We are better than that.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:30 am

      I don’t see that it is the national animal of any nation on its wikipedia page:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caracal

    • Michael mccccccc February 7, 2012, 10:12 am

      Now we’re treading on some thin ice! We have to be politically correct when addressing other nations ballistic test media!

      • Fred Marcum February 7, 2012, 10:36 am

        Congratulations!! A comment from the ‘rear with the gear’ crowd!!

  • Dennis February 7, 2012, 9:12 am

    “The Caracal is a big cat, with slightly silly ears. Who knew?”

    Those ears are a lot more useful and required to hear mice at a hundred yards. Something the human ear will never do.. I wonder what the Caracal would say of your ears? Naked perhaps?

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:30 am

      Ugly humans with silly small ears lol.

  • DaveR February 7, 2012, 8:51 am

    No, I was not talking about gun rags. They are, as you imply, highly biased.

    However, there are a surprising number of reviews on youtube, by independent gun blogs, and on the gunbaords (most from the time when the Caracal had a tiny US distributor).

    I understand that you guys didn’t get much trigger time, but other features of the gun can surely be commented upon without sending rounds downrange (e.g. weight, size, ergos, overall design, trigger pull, trigger reset, sights, etc…).

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:00 am

      We didn’t get any of that. In fact we generally have a rule that we don’t even mention products that aren’t available in the consumer market, because it is pointless, but for SHOT we do make some exceptions if it looks like the product will come out soon. We only mentioned it to see what people thought of of it.

  • Michael mccccccc February 7, 2012, 8:50 am

    A good report witho what you had to go on. I would imagine this gun will appear deeply discounted just to break into the market. Their Country and its residents are immune to to the international economic climate and in all likelyhood will market this product at a loss just to enjoy the reality that they CAN. Thus like Wal Mart when the price gets low enough they won’t have to provide something special…they only need to provide and the U.S. and
    Euro manufacturers will feel the pinch. There is such a glut of black plastic handguns that no one can quantify the need for one more. The only explanation for having one more would be a shoulder stock/forearm and vanity of the super rich that if all does not go well financially SO WHAT! As for the BATFE rule…other nations aren’t nearly as restricted and they have money to purchase firearms as well!

  • Vaughan Pederson February 7, 2012, 8:46 am

    Well, I like the writer’s remarks about the “big cat with the silly ears”. It makes for interesting reading and it catches your attention. Writing about yet another polymer pistol in a sea of polymer pistols is a difficult task to make interesting. I was unaware that a “Caracal” was indeed a cat-like animal before I read this article (even though as a child I read the entire Goldenbook Encyclopedia) and I am please to have learned something new. $500 MSRP probably means a street price of around $375 and that merits a look. The shoulder stock and foregrip, however ungainly, help to set it apart. I would like to shoot it. I like to shoot everything, silly ears aside.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:05 am

      We do too, but again, they told us the price of the gun it would be available for was $500.

  • DaveR February 7, 2012, 8:31 am

    “the price point is in the $500 range, which we thought a little steep for an immature product to the American market. You can get real guns for that.”

    negative much?

    a lot of the other reviews out there (which, as best as i can tell, are NOT sponsored by Caracal) are pretty darn positive on this gun. the advantages the Caracal supposedly offers over its brethren are enough to make me give it a go (provided they ever get their distributino sorted out).

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:38 am

      When the print rags see you spreading money around they tend to be kind in their “reviews.” Nobody at Media Day was able to accuracy test these guns, or even fire more than a mag or two. You can’t do a review on a new gun like this without trying it with several types of both range and carry ammo, limpwristing it, etc. We almost never do a negative review of a product. We send it back and don’t review it if we don’t like it. This isn’t a negative review. We can only speak to what we know of the gun today, and today it looks like it has a tough road ahead in the US market.

  • jeff February 7, 2012, 8:09 am

    Seriously guys….do over.
    If msrp is 500.00, and street ends up below 400.00, and they package it like springfield armory with 3 magazines and a holster…and it shoots like the glockxdsigmampsr9 that it should, I’m in. A glock like pistol with adjustable grip size, dressed and accessorized out the door for 380.00…might just get me to pony up for the sbr tag too.
    Please get one, shoot the heck out of it and let us know.
    If the UAE is the ally you suggest, we should applaud anyone spending and growing the US shooting market. Fierce Competition makes everyone better and we all benefit.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:27 am

      All we could do is go by what they told us. They said it was going to sell for $500, not that the official MSRP was $500.

  • JimC February 7, 2012, 8:02 am

    I was impressed with the company and booth and look forward to shooting the Caracal F or C hopefully in the near future. I am curious if you have any comment on the Quick Acquisition Sight System? Did the model you shoot have this unique feature? It really stood out to me about the gun.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:31 am

      We had very little time with the gun and the reps at the Caracal bay didn’t really say much. Hopefully when they are more in the retail market we’ll get a gun, find out what the real street price is of course, and be able to more assess the gun head to head against others.

      • DaveR February 7, 2012, 8:44 am

        WHAT? Almost every SHOT blogger was commenting on the Quick Acquisition sights on the Caracal C. Love em or hate em, the new sighting set-up was apparently very hard to ignore. soooo, exactly how much time did you spend looking at these guns anyway? I’m getting the impression that you spent more time on writing a snarky review than on actually examining the product.

        • Administrator February 7, 2012, 11:29 am

          If you notice on the Media Day guns, they don’t have this “Quick Acquisition” and no mention was made of it, but it nothing more than a 2″ sight radius, which is less than half the granularity of a normal sight radius on a normal pistol. Maybe all of your shots are point blank and it is fine to snap shoot, but in that case, why not just carry a pistol with a shotgun bead? This is just another dumb idea that the bloggers looking for free guns and advertisers will gush about, and it is little more than parroting the marketing from the company. You would think that someone as informed as yourself would respect an effort with as much reach as GA that doesn’t gush over a new company in the market spending stupid money. Don’t expect the gushing to stop here. I’m sure they will be sending a lot of these guns out, no return required of course, so that more people can parrot their marketing materials. For a service pistol, or even for concealed carry, having your rear sight 2″ from your front sight, when you don’t have to like in the case of a snubby revolver or tiny pistol, is just foolishness. Snarky enough for you? Who talks like that?

    • Bill Butler November 9, 2013, 11:17 am

      C model is a recall item, with no fix but the company is “buying” them back with a “full refund.” Oh well.

  • John S February 7, 2012, 7:56 am

    Sorry, looks like a hodgepodge of designs elements taken from other manufacturers and at the price point they are aiming for, I have to agree, it will flop.

    I really can’t see the general public paying $500ish for an unknown brand pistol when there are so many established pistols out there for the same or lower cost.

  • Garry Schwartz February 7, 2012, 7:55 am

    It looks like the copy of a Walther PPS 40 or Glock with a double-stack mag for high capacity. The foregrip and stock they can keep. The long grip could be shortened. The price isn’t bad for a good gun with two large capacity mags. Mystery word here is “good” gun – is it or not???

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:34 am

      Nobody said it was a bad price, just not a competitive price for a new gun. Don’t forget that there are other new striker pistols besides this. Century has one, and that new SAR gun that we covered earlier.

      • gdogs February 7, 2012, 9:57 am

        You don’t have to be too competitive to run against Century products. At $500 I think it will do well.

  • Bill February 7, 2012, 7:10 am

    The caracal is NOT a big cat, and is most assuredly NOT a silly animal. The only thing silly here is your droning on and on about it. Why is using Caracal as a product name any different from lion, tiger, panther, wolf, fox, jaguar, leopard, lynx or cougar?

    • Keith February 8, 2012, 12:04 am

      … or Colt. At least the Caracal is a predator.

      • Edward August 22, 2012, 2:13 pm

        Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal. The man, that is.

  • Victor February 7, 2012, 7:05 am

    “The gun itself we got to shoot at Media Day at the Range, on Monday before the show, and it shoots pretty good, but is nothing special.”

    What the heck?

    Big article and that’s all you have to say about the actual functioning of the weapon?

    Overall you guys are excellent and do great work..

    These folks deserve a redo…

    Victor

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 7:21 am

      At media day you get to fire a half a dozen rounds. They are not reviews they are product introductions.

      • Bobo March 23, 2012, 2:58 pm

        Gee, I read this same new product introduction and it seemed awfully fair to me. They didn’t slam the product or manufacturer, they just said we hope to see you again with something better. Also, I’ve been to motorcycle and automobile show media days and at best, you’re able to sit on the vehicle for about 15 seconds and you better not have any idea of actually trying the vehicle. Oh, and there was definitely not any slam or condescension about the U.A.E. Good job, GA.

  • Potus2000 February 7, 2012, 6:33 am

    Looks like you guys were pretty quick to pass judgement on this newcomer. I would have liked to have seen more range data in your blog and less on why we shouldn’t hate this gun because it’s made in the UAE.

    At first glance it does seem to be an odd design but with 18 round capacity and a fiber optic front sight I’m willing to cut it some slack. As far as the stock issue, this was SHOT so why not go all out?

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 7:24 am

      You don’t get to shoot at length at media day.

    • Administrator February 7, 2012, 8:42 am

      It isn’t really possible to have any range data from a half full magazine. They have to ration ammo at media day because the place is full of non-media who need to shoot video on their cell phones for their five gun friends back home to see. If you had followed the SHOT coverage prior to this you would know that these are product introductions, not reviews.

      • Todd F February 7, 2012, 9:29 am

        Dear Administrator,

        You need to drop the elitist attitude real quick before you become an “also ran” yourself. Those “five gun friends back home” make SHOT Show possible. Those “five friends” also make possible long your little self important junkets to the hosting city each year, to produce less than professional video and act like big shots. I am a SHOT show veteran from the factory side and I am quite well versed in the character and habits of you media types.

        • Administrator February 7, 2012, 9:41 am

          Maybe the print media types lol. If you were at media day you would know the difference between the real bloggers out there who were there to cover the show, and the 1/4 mile long line of non-media who waited over two hours in line to get free hats and tshirts from the swag tables. All of the whining about our attitude might be better spent looking around the web at how much SHOT coverage there actually is out there, including media day, and when you hit that youtube video, see how many they produced, and how many people watched them. The five friends back home don’t make them qualified to attend a media event, and they shouldn’t be there. Ask yourself how ridiculous you sound saying that anyone with five friends back home, or even anyone who can shoot 3-5 youtube videos on their phone for SHOT Show deserve to go to media day and shoot a thousand dollars worth of free ammo at the very minimum. They actually burn more ammo because they are not interviewing and taking notes. They go from station to station to station shooting 30 seconds worth of video to look valid, then moving on to the next. I think everyone qualifies at SHOT Show to attend media day! Let’s all have a big kumbaya day in the desert with universal acceptance and love!

          • Roman M February 7, 2012, 8:44 pm

            hell, how easy is it to get into media day? i wanna try to atleast go to the show next year, but if i could get into media day i would…if somebody wants to go just to shoot they should bring their own ammo, but if all you gotta do is video and do interviews, there probably wouldnt be enough time for me to ask about everything that i wanted to…

  • GRAHAM February 7, 2012, 6:29 am

    This looks like a pistol version of the AK47 in that it has fewer parts to go wrong and everything interchangeable.
    The only thing I don’t like is the extended stock.
    I would prefer a stock which rested on the top of the fore arm so that I could shoot it one handed with my body side on to the enemy. As the fore grip is illegal anyway you may as well not bother with the shoulder stock.

  • Mark Johnson February 7, 2012, 6:24 am

    Probably not a bad gun, but it just looks like an also-ran. Best of luck to them!

  • Dennis Birran February 7, 2012, 5:50 am

    Personally, I love the big eared cat! It is really unusual. And, as a potential buyer, I don’t think that $500 is an unreasonable price point for an especially well made gun.

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